A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 25, 2014
The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 11 and 12
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 22, 2014
What is it Like to be a Malfoy Post-Battle of Hogwarts? Rowling Reveals All on Pottermore
Stubby the Rocket
December 18, 2014
Mistborn Fans Will Get TWO New Novels Next Year!
Tor.com
December 15, 2014
Steven Erikson: On Completing Malazan
Tor.com
December 12, 2014
When My Wife Put Her Face in a Fireball for Epic Fantasy
Brian Staveley
Showing posts tagged: Christmas click to see more stuff tagged with Christmas
Wed
Dec 24 2014 1:00pm

Tor.com Wishes You a Merry Cthulhumas!

Illustration by Scott Brundage. Merry Christmas! May your holidays be free of overwhelming terror.

A quick note: We’ll be posting at a reduced rate over the next week, but we’ll still be offering up great material. Some of your favorite series may be on break until the new year, but we hope you’ll enjoy our encore posts of some of our favorite essays from throughout the year!

Wed
Dec 24 2014 10:00am

All I Want For Christmas is an Evil Snowman: Christmas Tales of Terror

Christmas Tales of Terror Christ PriestleyBy now, it’s safe to say that some of you might be harboring certain, shall we say, thoughts about the holiday season, and especially Christmas. Irritated thoughts. Cynical thoughts. Angry thoughts. Even—dare I say it—horrified thoughts.

If so, you might be in the mood for Chris Priestley’s Christmas Tales of Terror, where all kinds of terrible, nasty, awful things happen to adorable and not so adorable children on Christmas.

Also, ghosts.

[And, naturally, an evil snowman powered by BLOOD because why not? Spoilers.]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 9:00am

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W) by Neil Gaiman

Please enjoy what has fast become a quiet Christmas tradition in the Tor.com offices: the reading of Neil Gaiman’s original story: “I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

Merry Christmas!

 

I.

Cthulhu, they call me. Great Cthulhu.

Nobody can pronounce it right.

Are you writing this down? Every word? Good. Where shall I start—mm?

Very well, then. The beginning. Write this down, Whateley.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 24 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: All Groot Needs is a Little Love

Peanuts as Guardians of the Galaxy

Artist Lar deSouza created this sweet mashup of Guardians of the Galaxy and Peanuts, and naturally Groot becomes the tree that just needs a little love. A Merry Happy Christmas to those who celebrate! To everyone else, we hope you have a wonderful break to get to the reading and binge-watching you've been promising yourself all year.

Morning Roundup drains another glass of eggnog, and brings you links! We have holiday reading suggestions, a literary pastiche from the 1920s, and reminiscences from Mel Brooks! Plus Tim Burton talks about not being George Lucas, and Björk takes us all to Bethlehem.

[And tips for those of you planning to hunt the elusive Santa!]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 12:00pm

Christmas in the Stars: Aliens Encounter the Holidays!

He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

Lots of shows decide they need a little Christmas come December, but they’re not quite sure how to do it. Do you talk about the big Jesus-shaped elephant in the room? Do you just focus on Santa? Do you, I don’t know, cast Juliana Hatfield as an angel or make miracles happen on Walker, Texas Ranger?

This late-December urge becomes extra fun when sci-fi shows try it—they don’t actually want to deal with the religious aspect of Christmas, but they still have to find a way to explain Santa and presents (and maybe just a dash of Christianity) to aliens who are already confused enough just trying to deal with humans. So most of them fall back on humans teaching aliens about “goodwill” or “being kind to others.” This leads to some amazing moments, as we’ll see.

[Click through for special holiday times with ALF!]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 10:00am

God Bless Pastiche! The 7 Best Non-Traditional Christmas Carols of Film and TV

If I had a pet reindeer, or any kind of creature that resembled a fawn or Bambi-style animal, I’d name it Dickens. Come on. How adorable would it be to have a little pet deer named Dickens? Here Dickens! Come have a sugar cube! That’s a good little Dickens. What’s your favorite story? What’s that you say, “A Christmas Carol?” Well, I don’t feel like reading to you, because you’re a little deer, so let’s watch a movie or a TV special instead. Whatyda say?

And then, as a gift to Dickens, I would have to compile a list of movie and TV adaptations of Charles Dickens’s awesome book—A Christmas Carol—and I’d want those adaptations to be somehow a little bit different from their source material, because deers like stuff that’s new.

What are the best non-traditional versions of A Christmas Carol? These.

[Read more]

Tue
Dec 23 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Gracepoint Throws Out Doctor Who Easter Eggs for David Tennant Fans

David Tennant Gracepoint Easter egg Doctor Who

The folks at Gracepoint are rewarding David Tennant for watching the Tenth Doctor growl his way through their remake of Broadchurch. The show’s creator Chris Chibnall—who has also written for Doctor Who—tweeted these great props from the desk of Tennant’s protagonist Detective Carver. The TARDIS phone must get great reception.

Morning Roundup radically reimagines an Octavia E. Butler classic, makes holiday wreaths from old books, cheers over the Empire Strikes Back live read’s special guest, and is super jealous of Bill Gates’ reddit Secret Santa gift recipient.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 3:00pm

Technology is the Worst Gift in Black Mirror: White Christmas

Black Mirror: White Christmas TV review Rafe Spall Jon Hamm Oona Chaplin Charlie Brooker

It’s unnervingly fitting that Black Mirror: White Christmas focuses less on societal issues (as covered in the show’s other, self-contained episodes) and more on technology and the normal people who wield it. After all, Christmas is the season of giving big, highly desired gifts to loved ones, always with the best intentions in mind. But sometimes those intentions only lead to pain. In Charlie Brooker’s dystopian British Christmas special, technological advancements meant to make our lives easier instead break down communication and dilute our sense of humanity. Brooker doesn’t even go for some futuristic tech like drones or artificial intelligence, instead extrapolating out from Google Glass and implant tech that already exists.

Through three interlocking tales and a frame story deftly handled by Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall, we learn the consequences of humans using technology to reform how we see the world and to force those closest to us into new roles or contexts. This special is supremely disturbing but necessary holiday viewing.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 12:00pm

Have Yourself a Dark and Terrifying Christmas

Dark Santa

Are you tired of It’s a Wonderful Life? Has the Elf plummeted from the Shelf? I’ve gathered some darker Christmas fare—from Krampus tales to explorations of addiction, from Hideous Laughing Reindeer to machine guns—so allow me to fill your stocking with some twisted holiday classics!

[Ho-Ho-Ho.]

Mon
Dec 22 2014 9:00am

I Hear Santa’s Sleigh: On The Polar Express and What It Means to Believe

The Polar Express

It’s sappy holiday story time! Are you ready? I’m ready….

So, Christmas at my house has always been a decidedly secular affair. In that way, I’m no different from a good portion of North America. My parents and I always loved decorating our tree, drinking cocoa, putting out the cookies and such, but the only time we ever arrived at a Christmas mass it was to hear my piano teacher play the service. I went to see one live nativity display as a teen because a friend’s cousin was playing one of the Wise Men. The only Jesus Christ I was listening to was probably the Superstar kind.

Santa Claus, however, was another matter entirely.

[A single bell…]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 12:00pm

We Three Kings Have Traveled Far, Over The Misty Mountains Cold

As Christmas carols go, “We Three Kings” is weird, sad, and slow. Though widely believed to be the work of one John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who supposedly wrote it for a Christmas pageant in 1857, Max Gladstone and his musical compatriot Dan Jordan have dug deep into the darkness of this traditional song to find the truth. The roots of this decidedly dour tune lie beneath the Misty Mountains themselves, because it turns out that it’s an adaptation of an old Dwarven folk ballad! Maybe you’ve heard of it?

[It’s a Misty Mountain Christmas]

Wed
Dec 17 2014 10:00am

‘Twas the Dark Knight Before Christmas: Batman Returns

Batman Returns Christmas

This year marked the 75th anniversary of Batman, so it seems only fitting to close out the year with Tim Burton’s classic Christmas movie, Batman Returns.

When it was released back in the summer of 1992, the movie was greeted as an oddball failure. Sure, it made enough money to warrant another sequel, but it suffered a sharp drop off at the box office after a big opening weekend and it faced a backlash from audiences who found it too dark, too sexual, and too weird. One can hardly blame the good people of ’92, though. Batman Returns is indeed one the strangest blockbusters ever made.

[It’s also one of the most interesting.]

Tue
Dec 16 2014 12:00pm

How Do We Categorize The Nightmare Before Christmas?

Nightmare Before Christmas

Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie, or a Christmas movie? In terms of worldbuilding, it’s obviously both—it’s about a bunch of Halloween-town residents taking over Christmas from Santa Claus.

But worldbuilding elements don’t suffice as genre classifiers, or else black comedies wouldn’t exist. Creators deliberately apply worldbuilding elements from one genre to another for pure frission’s sake. Consider Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (speaking of Christmas movies), which takes a New York noir character, a down-on-his-luck con, and drops him into an LA noir scenario of movie glitz and private eyes; or Rian Johnson’s amazing Brick, a noir story engine driving high school characters. Fantasy literature is rife with this sort of behavior—consider Steven Brust’s use of crime drama story in the Vlad Taltos books, or for that matter the tug of war between detective fiction and fantasy that propels considerable swaths of urban fantasy. If we classify stories solely by the worldbuilding elements they contain, we’re engaging in the same fallacy as the Certain Kind of Book Review that blithely dismisses all science fiction as “those books with rockets.”

[Read More]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 3:29pm

It’s Yuletide and You Are Dying: Watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer

Doctor Who Christmas special trailer alien

While the most recent teaser clip for the Doctor Who Christmas special definitely scared us into staying off Santa’s Naughty list, the official trailer guarantees that this will be a very creepy Christmas. We’ve got mysterious bodies rising up from sleep (or death), an alien infestation, and a chalkboard that won’t let you erase the message “You Are Dying.”

[Watch the trailer]

Thu
Dec 11 2014 9:40am

A Pottermore Christmas

Harry Potter snow

I don’t know what it is about them, but the Harry Potter films have become a kind of Christmas tradition for me and mine. There’s rarely enough time to reread the books or I dare say I’d do that too. This year, that said, I may have to make time, because Pottermore.com has announced that a fortnight of festive fun is forthcoming, including “a wonderland of new writing by J. K. Rowling,” and I’m already hankering to hear a bit more about Harry and his.

Starting Friday, December 12, we’ll be releasing a new surprise for you every day at 1pm GMT (8am EST). With brand new writing by J.K. Rowling and even a new potion or two, make sure you don’t miss out on these daily treats.

Oh, I won’t. Nor should you! That said, I’d counsel caution. At least one outlet is erroneously reporting that Rowling plans to “put out 12 additional Harry Potter stories” over advent, which is not at all what the originating email and accompanying press release teased.

[Read More]

Tue
Dec 9 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North

A tale of fatherhood, motherhood, what you’d give, and what you’d become.

[Read “Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North” by Charles Vess]

Thu
Dec 4 2014 12:40pm

Jon Hamm is a Sinister Cyrano de Bergerac in the Black Mirror Christmas Special Trailer

Black Mirror White Christmas special trailer Jon Hamm Rafe Spall Oona Chaplin

Doctor Who vs. Santa isn't the only geeky Christmas special we're looking forward to this year. Charlie Brooker's eerily prescient dystopian series Black Mirror—which just became available on Netflix—returns for the holidays, with bonus creepy Jon Hamm!

[Watch the trailer for Black Mirror: White Christmas]

Mon
Nov 17 2014 2:05pm

Santa is a Bad Man in the First Clip from the Doctor Who Christmas Special

Doctor Who Christmas special Santa clip preview

We already got a pretty creepy vibe from this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special (with Nick Frost as Santa!) when we saw the first preview. But a new clip gives more insight into just what kind of game Old St. Nick is playing.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 25 2013 8:00am

Encore Presentation: Overtime

We hope you enjoy this encore presentation of the 2009 Tor.com Christmas story “Overtime,” by Charles Stross, which takes place in the Laundry universe.

Overtime by Charles Stross

All bureaucracies obey certain iron laws, and one of the oldest is this: get your seasonal leave booked early, lest you be trampled in the rush.

I broke the rule this year, and now I’m paying the price. It’s not my fault I failed to book my Christmas leave in time—I was in hospital and heavily sedated. But the ruthless cut and thrust of office politics makes no allowance for those who fall in the line of battle: “You should have foreseen your hospitalization and planned around it” said the memo from HR when I complained. They’re quite right, and I’ve made a note to book in advance next time I’m about to be abducted by murderous cultists or enemy spies.

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 23 2013 4:00pm

Tor.com Wishes You a Merry Cthulhumas!

Illustration by Scott Brundage. Merry Christmas! May your holidays be free of overwhelming terror.

A quick note: We’ll be posting at a reduced rate over the next week, but we’ll still be offering up great original material. Fans of Doctor Who and Sherlock in particular should keep an eye on us!